- Dec 6, 2005
Will you be paying more taxes to the city next year?
The answer should be clear by the end of the day, as Toronto city council votes on controversial new taxes that include a land transfer levy that would charge anyone buying or selling property and a $60/year vehicle registration fee.
The taxes were already postponed last summer due to opposition from many councillors. It failed by only one vote. However a late compromise from Mayor David Miller that would see people buying more expensive homes hit harder in the pocketbook is expected to result in additional support for the measures.
"Tomorrow's vote is absolutely critical for the city of Toronto," said Councillor Adam Giambrone Sunday. "Without it we won't be able to make the investments, in fact we'll be talking about cuts."
But Councillor Michael Thompson of Scarborough Centre appears to still be opposed to the fees, saying, "I've had in my community 16 town hall meetings and the residents in my community are not supportive of the taxes."
The city faces a budget shortfall in the area of $400 million next year and Miller has said that the new measures are necessary to pay for services and programs.
The mayor's attempts to cut services - first recreation centres and then libraries one day a week - have largely failed, meaning the need is still there to raise additional funds.
Some councillors have said they haven't made up their minds and will likely decide when they arrive in council to record their vote.
This past week Miller appointed a panel of professionals to review the city's spending and advise of any cost cutting measures.